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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
third generation computer
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architecture A computer built with small-scale integration
integrated circuits, designed after the mid-1960s.
Third generation computers use semiconductor memories in
addition to, and later instead of, ferrite core memory. The
two main types of semiconductor memory are Read-Only Memory
(ROM) and read-and-write memories called Random AccessMemory (RAM).
A technique called microprogramming became widespread and
simplified the design of the CPUs and increased their
flexibility. This also made possible the development of
operating systems as software rather than as hard-wiring.
A variety of techniques for improving processing efficiency
were invented, such as pipelining, (parallel operation of
functional units processing a single instruction), and
multiprocessing (concurrent execution of multiple programs).
As the execution of a program requires that program to be in
memory, the concurrent running of several programs requires
that all programs be in memory simultaneously. Thus the
development of techniques for concurrent processing was
matched by the development of memory management techniques
paging, as well as compilers producing relocatable code.
The LILLIAC IV is an example of a third generation computer.